A bit about the countryside

… ah, the countryside

There are no two ways about it, living away from the city, is great if you have a creative job. Unless you’re quite rich, of course, and can both live and work in the heart of the city itself. If you’re not born with wealthy parents then city working usually means heart-sinking commutes and, more than anything else, stress.

Now I know I’m generalising, but have you noticed just how uptight city folk are? I know, I was one, and so were all my friends. We thought it was normal. Jonathan, my husband, thought it was normal, and it took him six years to get used to not working in a city. Luckily for most of the students at Rowden, twelve months in the heart of the Devon countryside is usually more than enough time for them to work out how calming life outside of a major conurbation can be. For many of them, they are destined never to return to city life. And their blood pressure will thank them.

Ditch the traffic!

The thing is, if you are to spend the day in deep concentration, creating new designs. Or working on a piece of fine furniture, obsessing about every square millimetre of a set of components, or selecting timbers for a new project. The reality is, you don’t want to start that day battling traffic, sweating it out on the tube, or inhaling diesel fumes on your bike. Thinking of all our friends involved in cabinetmaking, the vast majority live and work away from city centres. They have commutes under twenty minutes, and they arrive at their workshops as fresh as a daisy.

Arriving with a clear head means the mind can be at one with the task at hand, the body can be applied to the simple pursuit of excellence, and your energy can be devoted to making.

Until next time,



David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

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